The multifaceted actor Danny Burstein is one of the most honored theater professionals in Broadway. Burstein is an actor of the stage and screen, and he’s a six-time Tony Award nominee. He won four Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Drama Desk Awards, and received three Grammy Award nominations. Having made his Broadway debut in 1992, Burstein sure is making strides in the Broadway stage.
Danny Burstein (June 16, 1964) was born in Mt. Kisco, New York, and was raised in New York City. Two months after he was born, his biological parents separated. He was raised by his mother, Virginia Vega, who is a painter, and his stepfather Harvey Burstein, a professor. His mother is of Spanish descent and is a Catholic, while his stepfather is Jewish.
Burstein graduated from the High School of the Performing Arts and Queens College in New York. In 1990, he earned a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of California, San Diego. He got his first acting job as a chorus of The Music Man during college.
Broadway and Theater Career
Burstein debuted in Broadway in 1992, playing the role of Porter and Constable in A Little on the Side. In the following years, he played Yakov in The Seagull (1992-1993), some small roles in Saint Joan (1993) and Three Men on a Horse (1993), Paul in Company (1995). He also played as an ensemble in Du Barry Was a Lady (1996), a tailor-merchant on The Boys from Syracuse (1997) in Encores!/New York City Center. In 1997, he returned to Broadway to play 1st Officer William Murdoch in the musical Titanic.
From 1994 to 2004, Burstein appeared in different theater productions off-Broadway. Some of the notable ones include Talley’s Folly, where he starred opposite Sarah Paulson and got nominated for a Drama League Award and a Lucille Lortel Award, and Mrs. Farnsworth, where he starred opposite Sigourney Weaver and John Lithgow.
Returning to Broadway, Burstein starred as Adolpho in The Drowsy Chaperone (2006-2007), where he was nominated for a Tony Award. He played Luther Billis in South Pacific (2008-2010) and won his first Outer Critics Circle Award.
Burstein also appeared in the musical Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, where he played a taxi driver. From 2011 to 2012, Burstein performed in Washington D.C., Broadway, and Los Angeles for Follies, where he received a Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for his performance as Buddy Plummer. In that production, he co-starred with Jan Maxwell, Bernadette Peters, and Ron Raines.
In 2013, Burstein got a Tony Award nomination for his work in Golden Boy. That same year, he also appeared in The Cradle Will Rock and Snow Geese.
In 2014, Burstein was nominated for a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for his performance as Her Schultz in the revival of Cabaret. From 2015 to 2016, he appeared as Teyve in the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof, directed by Bartlett Sher. He won a Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award for being an Outstanding Actor in a Musical.
During the summer of 2017, Burstein played the role of Nick Bottom in Shakespeare in the Park production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He starred as Alfred P. Doolittle in the Broadway revival of My Fair Lady in 2019. He is currently cast as Harold Zidler in the Broadway production of Moulin Rouge!. But since March, the production was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Burstein was one of the four actors who contracted the virus. The date of reopening the show was tentatively moved to early 2021.
Film and TV Career
Burstein appeared in different films throughout his career, including Duane Incarnate (2004); Transamerica (2005); Spectropia (2006); Deception (2008); Nor’easter (2012); American Milkshake (2013); Autumn Whispers (2013); Trust, Greed, Bullets & Bourbon (2013); Affluenza (2014); and Blackhat (2015). He also starred in Jason Bateman’s The Family Fang (2015) opposite Nicole Kidman. Burstein also appeared in Construction (2015), Indignation (2016), The Sounding (2017), and Lucy in the Sky (2018).
In television, Burstein had a lot of starring roles in single episodes. He appeared in Law & Order six times throughout its run, playing different roles. He also appeared in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit twice, and in Law & Order: Criminal Intent twice. Burstein played minor roles in Phoenix (2004), Boardwalk Empire (2010), The Good Wife (2015), Deception (2018), NCIS: New Orleans (2018), Madam Secretary (2019), Fosse/Verdon (2019), Evil (2019, and Central Park (2019)
Burstein was a nominee for Tony Awards six times in his career. He also won prestigious awards including:
- Outstanding Actor in a Musical, Outer Critics Circle Award (2008) – South Pacific
- Outstanding Actor in a Musical, Drama Desk Award (2012) – Follies
- Outstanding Actor in a Musical, Outer Critics Circle Award (2012) – Follies
- Outstanding Actor in a Musical, Drama Desk Award (2016) – Fiddler on the Roof
- Outstanding Actor in a Musical, Outer Critics Circle Award (2016) – Fiddler on the Roof
- Best Supporting Actor in a Musical, IRNE Awards (2019) – Moulin Rouge!
- Distinguished Performance, Drama League Award (2020) – Moulin Rouge!